You have been seeing dentist faithfully every six months only to learn that you have a periodontal condition
that requires treatment by a specialist. Or maybe you have been away from the dentist for a period of time and during your cleaning, the dental hygienist notices gum recession or pocketing around your teeth. First of all, don't panic! Provided the condition is identified and treated early enough, most people can keep their natural teeth for a lifetime. Now you are faced with the task of finding a periodontist to treat your condition.
Not all periodontists are the same. Choosing the right periodontist will help to assure the best treatment experience and outcome without breaking the bank. There are several things to consider before choosing your periodontist.
Who does your dentist recommend that you see? Ask your dentist for their top choice. Who would they see if they had a periodontal condition
that required treatment?
Will the office care for me as a person and not just a set of teeth? A caring and empathetic periodontist
and office staff goes a long way toward making your treatment experience a good one, and who doesn't want a good treatment experience?!
Will the periodontist perform a thorough examination, create a custom designed treatment plan and review findings with me and my dentist before treatment begins? Would you take a trip across country without knowing the route that you would travel, or without a roadmap? Likewise, periodontal treatment requires planning. Oftentimes, this treatment must be coordinated with your dentist to assure the best treatment outcome.
Will the periodontist take time to explain my problem, my treatment options, and what I can do to improve my health? Beware any dentist or periodontist who makes treatment recommendations but does not take the time to explain your condition and why treatment is necessary in terms that you can understand.
Will conservative treatment options be explored first before surgery is considered? Oftentimes conservative (and less expensive) treatment is all that may be necessary to resolve a periodontal problem. Whether or not your periodontist is in your dental insurance network is much less important. In fact, your out-of-pocket expense may be much less in an “out of network” office that performs conservative periodontal therapy.
Will the office take extra time for explanation, reassurance, or whatever I need to feel comfortable before treatment begins? Periodontal treatment
need not be painful or difficult. Your comfort should always be their primary concern.
Will the periodontist be available 24 hours if I have a problem or concern?
With the office continue follow-up care with me until an optimal and stable result has been accomplished?
Don’t ignore your periodontal problems. Find a good periodontist and get the treatment you need. In the right office, it’s easier than you think!